A Taste of Life at Windrush Alpacas

March 24, 2007

What A Night That Was!

Filed under: alpaca, Alpaca Care, Alpacas, camelids, Family — alpacalady @ 9:56 pm

Springtime in New Mexico can bring some spectacular weather.  Friday evening was no exception.   We had been warned throughout the day that the conditions were right for some severe weather.  The National Weather Service made mention of the possibility of large hail, strong winds, lightening and as always reminded us that weather conditions such as these can result in the formation of tornadoes. I spent the day making sure that all the vehicles, trailers and equipment were under cover and that items that could blow away in strong winds were secured.  The day was warm and humid, but the skies were reasonable quiet though cloudy.  By the afternoon things were starting to change and the sky was starting to get darker and so I decided that it would be a good idea to start chores a little early.  One of my neighbors stopped by on the way home from work and helped me finish up chores; we discussed the weather forecast and the possibility of severe weather. Having completed chores early I planned on catching up on some office work for the evening – a plan that would not materialize.  After dinner I checked one of the local TV stations and learned that a tornado had been spotted near Arch, New Mexico a small community to the Southeast of Clovis.  I decided to stay tuned to the local station to make sure that I was aware of any developing weather.  Within a short period of time a tornado warning was announced for Curry County and we were advised to seek shelter, the warning estimated that we had about 10 minutes before the tornado hit Clovis. It is interesting to learn what things you decide to take with you when given 10 minutes to pack up and take shelter.  I made sure I had flashlights (including a wonderful dynamo flashlight that does not require batteries given to me by my brother), batteries, water, my purse with all of my identification documents, credit cards and checkbooks, and my cell phone.  I also decided to bring my palm pilot and laptop computer plus all of the necessary chargers, my MP3 player which has a radio built into it and then grabbed the books I am currently reading, the medicines for my cat Six Toes and interestingly enough my current knitting project! We do not have a basement so I went to my walk-in closet, which is quite large, and does not include any outside walls or windows.  My two inside dogs Sandie and Toby and Six Toes the cat came too.  It was extremely hard leaving my two outside dogs outside, but one of them fights with Sandie and to bring them all in together could have caused even more problems.  I took a last look across the pastures at the alpacas and could see they were all in their shelters, I could only hope that they would be okay.  Shortly after I loaded everything into the closet we lost power. As it turns out we were extremely lucky, the tornado hit about three miles east of us.  It touched down on the south side of Clovis, crossed the railroad tracks, continued on a north-east path and then lifted for a short while, it then touched down again in residential neighborhood on the east side of Clovis.  As of today the estimate is that 100 homes have been damaged or destroyed, several businesses are destroyed including one dairy, many power lines are down, some areas experienced gas leaks and many vehicles have been damaged.  As you can imagine there are many people who are displaced and now staying in an emergency shelter.Amazingly our power was restored by midnight, I fully expected it to be down for at least a day.  The local emergency services have been working tirelessly all day and will have some long days ahead of them.  The reports of damage keep rolling in and I am sure we will see footage of the worse hit areas tonight on the news. We have a lot to be thankful for today, we and all our animals are safe and well and considering how close we were to the tornado we have experienced very little disruption.  Our DSL is down and expected to be so for a least a couple of days, so I will be uploading my blog entries through our dial up account, which is still working.  We have received numerous phone calls from alpaca breeder friends across the country concerned for our welfare, the alpaca community is a very caring one and I know that if things had turned out worse than they did our alpaca breeder friends would jump in to help us.  The community of Clovis is a small and close one, and in the coming days I know they will pull together to help those who need it. 

Last night was the closest I have been to a tornado, and I hope that is the closest I will ever get.




1 Comment »

  1. I am thoroughly relieved that all is well at Windrush after your near brush with the tornado and hope that those affected suffered no personal injuries. It got me to thinking what would I take with me to shelter from such an event. I guess like you I would take my bank cards etc.. and the life-size photo of my beloved of course! It is good to know that both the alpaca and Clovis communities are there for each other. Love Linda

    Comment by Linda Pottinger — March 27, 2007 @ 10:47 am

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